A Taste of Texas Without The Fries

August 15, 2018 9:11pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 17 Comments

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Why Texas?  

Many people ask me what it is about this state that keeps me coming back and I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is. It somehow maintains a frontier spirit, even amidst the corporate faux towns that could be a snapshot of any American city.  It has its own kind of heat that is oppressive and unyielding; if you can live here you’re tough enough to stay. It feels independent. It breathes attitude. It smells like freedom. The sky calls you to keep travelling into its vastness and hours later, you’re still in Texas.  When the sun goes down the humidity rages along with the rattling insects and mysterious chirps as life fights on.  

But most of all, it’s the Dalek.

Williams Tower Houston

People here call this a tower but I call him the Houston Dalek – He who protects inhabitants from evil whilst they slumber.  

I Clearly Need Saving From Myself

And then there are the old-fashioned southern manners that take me back to an old Western movie.  Being respected and treated like a lady wherever I go has turned me into an old-school western heroine that needs saving and protecting. Doors held open, lift doors braced as you leave or enter, always allowed to go first, collected from vehicles, standing up when you excuse yourself  from a situation and being spoken to like a queen. I love it. It encourages me to embrace my sexuality and feel like a proper woman. I want to wear my high heels more and my girlie lipstick.  I want to brush my hair, wear pretty dresses and smile sweetly.  

I cannot fathom why any woman abhors this kind of behaviour from a red-blooded male. 

It makes me sick when I go home and it stops. I stand at doors sulking like a petulant narcissist.  

The only problem is I have now lost all upper body strength and if I had to open the emergency door to a plane I’m not the person you wanna be relying on.  

I went to the gym in my apartment complex the other day and couldn’t move the chest press.  Three times I moved the weight down. Nada. 

It must be broken. 

I eventually moved it to the lowest weight which I believe was “5” ounces and broke out in a sweat after two pushes. Total embarrassment. 

I even failed to open the door to the bar! A valet had to rush and help me as I railed against it to get to my lemon drop martini. 

“There you go, ma’am,” he said as he opened the door easily with just a forefinger.

Don’t bat your eyes at anyone when you’re wearing roller lash super curling and lifting mascara.  It makes your eyes stick together. 

Talking of Eyes Forward…

Once I got inside the bar, just underneath the Dalek, I sat watching how well people interacted with each other. 

Male at bar looking at phone


Everybody bar me and a chap to my left sat staring at their phones blissfully unaware of what was going on around them.  I find it infuriating. It makes me want to do something obnoxious to see if anyone notices. Which is so unlike me. 

The only virtually addicted people I would like to meet are the ones on my Wi-Fi list below. 

Anyway, the chap next to me asked for a drink in an English accent which distracted me. It’s so easily noticeable over here because it sounds really odd and stuck up. 

“What are you doing in Texas?”  I asked a little fiercely like the state belonged to me.

“It speaks to my spiritual soul.” 

There’s always one smart arse that can sum up what you want to say in one sentence and you can bet your life it’s going to be English.  But hey, that’s not the way I party with words.

Talking of Rock and Roll…

I got taken out. Yes, believe it or not, people are brave enough to do this over here. I like this hardcore spirit.  I was asked if I’d like to watch a country and western singer out in a place called Crockett. Music to my ears in more ways than one because I love visiting these little old Texan towns. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. 

Crockett, Texas music hall

It took two hours to get to this awesome place. That’s four hours travelling. I could be in the furthest Greek island from England in that time.  It totally blows me away how far Americans are prepared to travel to go out and why they need great big growling trucks to do so.

On the way back I was asked if I wanted a Sonic.  

My normal reaction is to say yes to everything but I’ve learnt that Americans can have a mean streak.


“Jules, you ever had catfish?”


“Here, try this. You’ll love it!”


“Why has it got a big bone in the middle? That’s not a fish bone.”

“Because it’s a toads leg! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

“Your card is marked, pal.”

Not knowing what a Sonic was, I refused. It could have been a hedgehog.

“But you have to! It’s an American tradition!”

“Yeah, so is eating grits. Nuff said.”

Turns out that it’s a fast food joint so I said to get me whatever the tradition was expecting a burger like normal people would eat.


Fries and a chocolate milkshake.

“You have to dip your fries in the milkshake.”

“Do I look stupid?”


“It’s tradition.”

“No, It’s mental.”

I tried it. Never again.  Whatever possessed someone to make this a tradition or delicacy is beyond me.  A country full of the finest of foods where starving is impossible and you dip your fries in a milkshake? 

Talking of Mission Impossible…

Drive in movie sign

I went to my first Drive-In Movie. This has been on my American bucket list for ages. I was so excited and felt like I should dress up like Olivia Newton-John or something.

Drive in movie screen

However, skin-tight trousers might prove difficult if you want to nip to the loo.  Did they even have loos?  Who knows?  Maybe you have to pee in the field like you do at deer hunting camp? 

“What time does it start?” I asked.


What is this, ranch speak? 

I can only describe the experience as like going camping but with a big telly.

There are people with chairs and blankets and cool boxes.  There are burgers and candy floss and popcorn.  There’s beer in my handbag.  

My only criticism is that you can’t keep the air con on so I was sweating more than Tom Cruise mid mad stunt. Other than that, I absolutely loved it and want to go again!  Naked. 

Talking of Raw Meat…

The best place I’ve had it is at “The Taste of Texas”  

I had to be taken out back where they cunningly had a little butchers shop (first one I’ve ever seen in America) to pick my meat.

“How do you like your meat, Ma’am?”

“Full blooded, firm and mouth wateringly orgasmic.”

“Would you like to feel this package?”

“Oh yes, don’t mind if I do.”

“I think the veins running through this are lean and strong. Would you like me to mark it as yours?”

steak in American restaurant

“Have it unwrapped and bring it to my table, sir!”

“Yes, Ma’am!” 

Steak on a plate in texas

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout, Merrica!  I’ve steaked my claim! 


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Chips dipped in milk shake make me feel quite queasy but the steak yes please. I think you need a dose of English Council house life to counter the southern belle you’ve become. On the other hand I think you are more suited to being pampered

Well, I don’t blame you. I can tell you that you aren’t missing anything on that front except the onslaught of nausea!

But the steak… my word. Such a taste sensation.

I’ve had my fill of council estates and now I’ve progressed to spoilt. And I like it! 🙂

Is this devolving into a french fries vs chips vs heart-attack potatoes discussion? And while I’m very fond of fish and chips, the food varieties, the quantity served by portion and the over all experience of Texas vs Nottingham is — miles apart. In Texas you never should leave the table hungry and the massive steak is something that might be available in England, but I’ve never seen it. English portions are very small compared to what you’d expect to eat in Texas. I recall your first chicken fried steak experience. And you didn’t finish your meal. Soon you’ll be in Greece and I LOVE the food in the Placa in Athens (old town), so I am envious of that because it’s right at the top of my favorite places to have dinner. You can compare Texas with the best of Greece, but England…you have nice body warmers and I like the trifle.

Heart attack potatoes win every time, Larry.

I have never eaten a full dinner here. I always bring enough home to have the same dinner the next day. Portions here are massive compared to England.

I remember my chicken fried steak well! That was enormous!

I reckon I’ll be needing some nice feta cheese salads once I hit Greece just to even out the balance!

We have HORRIBLE bodywarmers but our trifle makes up for it! ;P

The souvlaki and kebab in Greece is great. It’s a carnivorous country so you can have mean, fish, and the vegetables are small sides. I was in Athens once and there was an “American salad” on the menu. I ask what it was. The server said, “lettuce”. Lettuce isn’t eaten much in Greece, but apparently they had some on hand in the event that an American showed up. Cut up tomato, olives, onions, etc. make up the traditional Greek salad, I’ve found – and I love it. The other thing that is loved in Greece is French fries! They crumble feta on them. Give it a try.

I’m afraid that I also love humus, dipping either pita or cucumber slices into it. Now, I need to go fix breakfast.

I’m salivating at the thought…

I bet this is where your “Glop” invention came from, right 🙂

There’s a greatness to the DALEK, as there is with Texas itself.
Nice looking steak!

The DALEK IS greatness. I love him.

That steak was proper nice, LSP. Even the next day when I ate the other half, and don’t get me started on the brussels that are fried with bacon. Dear Lord….this country takes sprouts to the next level of scrumptious.

Yes, four hours of driving but the terrain was perfectly FLAT, wasn’t it? That makes for less engine strain.

Up here they dip fries in mayonnaise. For real. It’s really unattractive.

Drive-ins were an essential part of my teenage-hood. I miss them terribly and don’t know why they went out of style. They’re great!

I’m still not on board with the whole Texas thing. I think it’s the guns and the politics. They freak me out in equal measure.

Very flat indeed, M.

I like chips in Mayo! That’s a very European thing. Tastes good.

I think they should come back! What a wonderful thing they are! I contemplated having one in England after I saw how many cars rolled up at $8 a person. All you need is a piece of land ( can buy that off a farmer) a projector (negotiate with cinema) a burger joint -or, in England, a bar! (easy – rip out an old caravan and stock it up) a portaloo. Just like running a festival – easy. Not much outlay and you could be earning 6k a weekend at least. Nice. Then I remembered the weather in England.

CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kuFTobApTQY

the Houston Dalek just wants the Art Ross Trophy back. no police, no questions asked.

you make me feel……you make me feel……you make me feel like a natural Dr. Feelgood: http://youtube.com/watch?v=KKLZP_G9XHQ


I need to go back to Sonic so I can blast people with my mintiness!

The Art Ross Trophy looks like a Dalek so of course he wants it back. He is the keeper of his children.

Rest In Peace, Aretha. What a gifted woman she was. Oh yeah, my sweet, she is singing about Trivago guy. She knew. *)

CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kuFTobApTQY

the Houston Dalek just wants the Art Ross Trophy back. no police, no questions asked.

you make me feel……you make me feel……you make me feel like a natural Dr. Feelgood: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba8vZeH_tEk


Jules, you look like you’re having some great adventures but the fries in milkshake is a big no! There are a few drive in movie places in England but not only in summer – weather permitting!

There are? I’m going to have to visit one to see if they live up to the American one! Highly doubt it! *Bring Your Brolly*

Chips in chocolate milkshake? I can’t add anything above what has already been said, other than: “America, you damn well got that one wrong!”.

However, I love the Choose Your Own Meat idea… but I can’t see our local Harvester taking that on anytime soon.

They’re nearly as bonkers as we are.

The local Harvester! Hahahahahahaha! And, no.

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